Pride changes name, gets sponsor

North Carolina News Notes

Charlotte

Show your wares
CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Business Guild will host its 1st Annual CBG Business Expo on March 21 from 12-4 p.m. at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center, 820 Hamilton St., Suite B-11.

Join others in the community who will be there to market and promote their businesses.

Exhibitor space (eight-foot draped tables) is available at a discount until March 6. Afterwards costs revert to full price. Those are: CBG members — half table, $40 ($65), full table $75 ($100); non-members — half table, $85 ($110), full table, $120 $145). The non-member exhibitor fee includes a one-year single membership in CBG, a $50 value.

For those who are unable to exhibit, door prize donations will be gratefully accepted. As a donor, your flyers, cards and materials will be placed on the featured businesses table and your company name will be announced as a donor of the prize. You may also want to attach your business card to the door prize.

To exhibit or for more information, call 704-565-5075, email businessguild@yahoo.
com or visit www.charlottebusinessguild.com.

It’s turkey time
CHARLOTTE — Equal Families, for GLBT parents and their children, will gather for their monthly event on Feb. 24 from 1-4 p.m. at AMF Centennial Lanes, 4501 South. Blvd., for a bowling outing.

To reserve a spot, email equalfamilies@carolina.rr.com by Feb. 22 so that coordinators can book the number of lanes needed.

Eastern

Shooting hoops
WINTERVILLE — Do you love basketball but never get to play as a group?

Then get your slam-dunk on by joining a team of women every Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Zone.

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For more information or for directions, call Kim Lunde at 252-327-4233.

Triangle

Network offers online reservations
RALEIGH — The Raleigh Business and Professional Network has announced that it is now able to take online reservations for its monthly meetings. Attendees may pay by credit card or send in checks by deadline dates.

For more information, visit www.raleighnetwork.org.

Curtain’s up
RALEIGH — Anthony Garcia-Copian, a playwright who is planning to stage a reading of his play “Book of Revolution,” needs you. He is putting out a call for actors who are interested in participating in the production, which will be staged at North Carolina State University in April. The presentation will serve as a fundraiser for the LGBT Center of Raleigh.

The storyline revolves around four revolutionary periods in history — Russian, Chinese, American and French. It speaks to the need to continue to fight for LGBT basic human rights.

Garcia-Copian would like to find six male actors, age 18-25. Auditions will be held on Feb 28 from 2-5
p.m

For more information or location, email playwright1010@yahoo.com.

Western

Pride changes name, gets sponsor
ASHEVILLE — The newly-dubbed Blue Ridge Pride Festival (formerly known as Asheville Pride) held an organizational meeting with the general public to plan for the Oct. 10 event. A wide variety of representatives who attended have thrown in their input and volunteered for numerous committees to make the event a success. Author Jeffrey G. Marsocci, whose book “The Gay Marriage Alternative: Finding Legal Equality, Security and Peace of Mind Without Changing the Law,” due for release on Apr. 6, is the first sponsor.

He is an attorney and chairs The National Institute for Domestic Partner Estate Planning. He also volunteers with Triangle Community Works.

For more information, call Marsocci at 919-844-7993.

Commitment ceremonies held
BOONE — On Feb. 12, Boone Impact and its supporters celebrated National Freedom to Marry Day at the Watauga County Courthouse with the exchange of wedding vows, political theater and the request of marriage licenses. The Boone-based affinity group of Join the Impact developed as part of the national reaction to Proposition 8.

In front of a crowd of approximately 70 supporters, eight couples and triads recited vows of commitment outoors. This demonstration incorporated performance political action and art with a “preacher” leading the couples and triads in vows and radical cheerleaders dressed in fancy wedding garb. Supporters contributed to the wedding atmosphere while distributing literature, chanting and holding signs while the couples make their requests for licenses inside. Supporters consisted of a mixture of community members as well as Appalachian State University students and employees.

The couples and triads requested marriage licenses from the clerk who assisted them individually and turned them down if they lacked requirements such as the $50 fee or the prerequisite male and female applicants. Participants also educated staff about sex reassignments affect on marriage licenses. When refused licenses, they politely left.

Law enforcement officers maintained a congenial but visible presence. An undercover law enforcement agent who identified himself as Sheriff Len D. Hagaman, spoke with organizers and sat in his parked car across from the demonstrators for the entire length of the demonstration. There was no other involvement of the police except to remind demonstrators to remain on the sidewalk.

Boone Impact was established in November when it held an inter-generational march through Appalachian State University campus during football tailgating. It has also held a campus information table on December’s National “Day Without A Gay” and a “Happy New Queer” party and mailed petitions and local postcards to President Barack Obama about DOMA and other LGBT-related issues. Plans for March’s event are underway.

For more information, email Kathy Staley at staleykl1971@yahoo.com.

Statewide

Time to lobby
RALEIGH — ENC is calling on its supporters across the state to make plans to attend the Equality NC Day of Action on March 24.

This is an important opportunity for LGBT and allied North Carolinians to make a real difference by educating legislators about key issues, including school bullying, discrimination and anti-equality legislation like the proposed constitutional marriage ban and relationship recognition for same-sex couples.

Too register or for more information, visit www.equalitync.org.

Volunteer alert
STATEWIDE — Equality NC (ENC) is teaming up with Planned Parenthoods across the state (and other organizations in the Healthy Youth NC coalition) in support of the Healthy Youth Act, a bill which would once again bring the option of comprehensive sexuality education back to all of North Carolina’s public school systems.

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In past years, it has been clear that legislators must see demonstrated support of their constituents for comprehensive sex ed before they will support it. Want to give safe sex a ring? Planned Parenthoods across the state are organizing volunteer phone banks to identify supporters of comprehensive sex ed. Volunteers will call to ask each supporter for their email address, if they are willing to contact their legislator by phone and/or meet with them in person, and if they are interested in becoming more involved with Healthy Youth NC.

Phone banks are open from 6-8:30 p.m. and dinner is provided.

Send emails to the following coordinators if you are interested in participating:
Asheville, Feb. 23, Genevieve at genevieve.delucchi@pphsinc.org; Charlotte, Feb. 25, March 18, Apr. 15, genevieve.delucchi@pphsinc.org; Fayetteville, Feb. 24, jessica.ackley@ppcentralnc.org; and Greensboro, Feb. 24, genevieve.delucchi@pphsinc.org.

Also, ENC is seeking individuals who wish to share their personal stories regarding bullying and harassment at school to help in the fight for the passage of the School Violence Prevention Act. Simply record a short, five-minute or less video and upload it to YouTube. Then email ENC the link and they will show it to legislators, supporters and would-be supporters about how important the act is to a safe environment. Can’t do a video, then share your story in writing. Attach a photo of yourself, if you wish.

In other news, ENC has announced that Alex Miller will be serving as contract lobbyist for the 2009 legislative session. Miller has previously worked with Covenant with North Carolina’s Children, Rep. Rick Glazier’s campaign and the Obama campaign. At the Covenant, he lead their efforts on the School Violence Prevention Act.

Additionally, generous donors have issued the Stam Challenge to raise $7,500 during February. Each gift will be matched dollar for dollar. The initiative was named after Rep. Paul Stam who has worked for a constitutional amendment against marriage equality.

Visit equalitync.org to find out more about these initiatives or to make a contribution and email enc@equalitync.org to submit stories.

Organization wants storytellers
STATEWIDE — COLAGE is looking for youth and adults who have/had one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer parents who live in North Carolina who might like to share their school stories.

Questions include:
• Did/do you feel like you could be out at school about having LGBTQ parents? Why or why not?
• Do/Did you experience any bullying or harassment?
• How do/did teachers handle anti-gay or transphobic slurs or harassment in your school?

Equality North Carolina has introduced a School Violence Prevention Act which would require schools to adopt strong policies against bullying and harassment, including bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. It also includes ancestry and “association with a person who has or is perceived to have these characteristics,” so students with LGBTQ parents would be explicitly protected if the legislation passes.

Willing to be involved with the Speak Out program? Participants may be asked to do media work or speaking at the capital to help raise support for this bill. COLAGE can provide you with training and support all along the way. They are especially wanting students in 6th-12th grades and adults of all ages.

To get involved, call Meredith Fenton, COLAGE program director at 415-861-5437, extention 102, email Meredith@colage.org or visit www.colage.org.

Online survey seeks participants
STATEWIDE — Graduate student Samantha L. Tornello is currently working on a research project with Dr. Charlotte J. Patterson, a professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, to study families headed by gay fathers.

The study consists of an online survey and will take approximately 25-35 minutes of each participant’s time. To qualify for the study the participant would have to identify as male, a father and gay, bisexual or homosexual and have a least one child of any age. The child can be biological, adopted, foster, step or other. A man does not need to be the child’s legal parent to participate. This study has been approved by the University of Virginia IRB #2008-0407-00.

For more information, call 434-243-8558 or email GayDadsStudy@gmail.com. A web link will sent to access the study for those who participate.

info: Announce your community event in NC News Notes. email: editor@q-notes.com.

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.